by Thomas Parnell
My days have been so wondrous free,
The little birds that fly
With careless ease from tree to tree,
Were but as bless'd as I.
Ask gliding waters, if a tear
Of mine increased their stream?
Or ask the flying gales, if e'er
I lent one sigh to them?
But now my former days retire,
And I'm by beauty caught,
The tender chains of sweet desire
Are fix'd upon my thought.
Ye nightingales! ye twisting pines!
Ye swains that haunt the grove!
Ye gentle echoes! breezy winds!
Ye close retreats of lore!
With all of Nature, all of Art,
Assist the dear design;
Oh teach a young, unpractised heart
To make my Nancy mine.
The very thought of change I hate,
As much as of despair;
Nor ever covet to be great,
Unless it be for her.
'Tis true, the passion in my mind
Is mix'd with soft distress;
Yet while the fair I love is kind,
I cannot wish it less.